Oh no, not again!!

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Oh no, not again!!

Post by troikafloyd on Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:38 pm

shrugg  After having a replacement alternator fitted last April due to the red battery light showing, the battery light has come on again and is staying on whilst driving.
I took it into a garage where they tested with a multimeter and no charge is going to the battery so have booked it in for another replacement alternator.
I'm guessing I was just unlucky regarding the last alternator or could something be causing them to fail?

Does anyone know what amp rating the alternator should be for a Peugeot Boxer HDI 2004 Diesel?
I'm asking because I think a Bosch 90amp one was fitted last time and wondered whether a higher amp one should have been fitted and if so would this be causing failure over a course of time.........or am I just over thinking the problem!

As usual, any help or advice is very much appreciated big thumbs up

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by ymfb1 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:27 pm

I have no idea which is the correct alternator, but do you know which part of it failed.  If it was burnt out or if an internal component failed.

Maybe you should try and keep one of the old ones for a service exchange at a later date.
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:18 am

When I did my engine swap (2.0 Petrol -> 2.0HDi) the original alternator failed almost immediately due to wear of the brushes. The circuitry controlling the red light also failed so I didn't know when the alternator wasn't charging! I then fitted an aftermarket refurbished replacement - the only one I could get in Cumbria at the time - and this then failed in France four years later. This time the red light was on solid, the problem being that the slip rings had worn through completely. I suspect that the refurbishing organisation had just put new brushes on old sliprings, and this could be your issue too. Brushes can be changed relatively easily. Changing sliprings is more involved but should be within the capabilities of a savvy amateur. There's a great Irish chappy on YouTube with loads of videos - search for Valeo alternator refurbishment - and I purchased a rebuild kit from him which I am yet to use on my old alternator (but I've robbed the bearing from it to fix the alternator in my wife's Citroen C5).

Sometimes if my van has stood for a while I have detected some strange noises coming from alternator, and I suspect that the brushes or sliprings may suffer when in contact with the sliprings for ages without moving - I have no evidence, it's just a suspicion.

However with the HDi engine there is another critical thing which kills alternator brushes/sliprings and that's leakage of Diesel from the high pressure fuel pump mounted immediately above it. I've had this problem too and have posted on this subject previously. So it's critical to check whether your pump is wet, and if it is to then get it sorted, as it can only get worse with time.

As far as I know, 90A is the standard alternator rating. In my view, the addition of a 12V fridge and leisure battery of a motorhome should not change the loading to a degree that would put the alternator in jeopardy. Besides, I don't think the current drawn passes through the brushes/sliprings but through the stator windings (may be wrong on this) and these, plus the rectifiers, are usually rock solid.

When I last changed the alternator, I fitted a brand new OEM item which I got cheap off eBay. In that way I hope to avoid any of the previous problems.

Hope this helps?

Bartfarst
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:27 am

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by boxerman on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:34 am

Hi Guys - Martin here  smile! great! watched all his videos and wondered if he was ever going to clean that soldering iron  scratch head
Bartfarst wrote: Besides, I don't think the current drawn passes through the brushes/sliprings but through the stator windings (may be wrong on this) and these, plus the rectifiers, are usually rock solid.
Bartfarst
On an alternator, the field winding are in the rotor so only  control current goes through the brushes & slip rings. The output comes from the stationary windings. So once again, you are correct. up!

Frank
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:53 am

Frank,

Glad you enjoyed his videos! I like the way he starts every sentence with "Now guys", but (to be sure) there's one hell of a lot of knowledge there to be had.

Bartfarst
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by troikafloyd on Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:44 am

up! Thanks Bartfarst for that in depth reply.

I have already booked it in for a replacement alternator but will certainly take on board what you say regarding the fuel pump and slip rings etc.
I haven't noticed any strange noises etc but when the mechanic opened the bonnet he did say he could detect a slight burning smell.
I'll have a look at the videos this evening.
On another note....I wish Haynes supplied a manual to cover the Boxer, seems strange why they don't confused3 Once again, cheers!

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:45 pm

No problem Troikafloyd - please to assist.

The videos are informative in that they clearly show the difference between new and worn slip rings, the latter having deep grooves where the copper has been lost. Ultimately the brushes break through the last remaining bit of copper then start to run on the insulation, and the field circuit is broken. Hereon through my experience I'm sticking to either big name OEM refurb (such as Bosch seal of approval) or brand new OEM alternators to avoid the fitting of 'new' alternators with half worn slip rings. Accordingly, I suggest that you interrogate your garage doing the job to determine the exact status of the replacement unit they're fitting. Of course they will be full of assurances - "We fit these all the while, and never have any trouble..blah blah" - but it's your van and your tour/holiday that's at stake and I'd settle for nothing less than the best.

Regarding the fuel pump, it's a three piston device with each cylinder and cylinder head spaced radially at 120 degree intervals. So at a quick glance all may look fine, but all three operate at the same ludicrously high pressure, and all three must be bone dry. The method I recommend is to tear up some strips of kitchen towel and then to wipe the cylinder head interface of each of the three cylinders individually, and closely inspect the results. If the pump does need a service then you might want to refer to any earlier tome I wrote on this process: http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t13818-2-0hdi-boxer-high-pressure-fuel-pump-refurb

Yes, Haynes never did a Boxer/Ducato/Relay manual and, to be honest, I just can't see why as there were so many around - perhaps not as common as the Transit, but sufficient to make it worth their while. So we've had to make do with robbing bits from other manuals - Xantia for the petrol engine for example - and I also bought a number of CD-ROMs of eBay purporting to be 'factory manuals' but none were really any good. The only salvation is that the ubiquitous 2.0HDi DW10 engine is very widely used and hence there's a plethora of info out there. But for bodywork, suspension etc., it's down to your own knowledge and experience. One Godsend for me is Peugeot and Citroen Servicebox http://public.servicebox.peugeot.com/pages/index.jsp (not currently working!!) which, if you register as an independent servicer of vehicle, gives exploded diagrams and parts lists specific to your vehicle if you enter the VIN. In fact, it might be worthwhile doing this to find the PSA part number for the specified alternator, then trawl around the web and eBay to see what's available. Thus you can be prepared for the discussions with your garage when they try to pass you off with a nice shot-blasted refurb alternator with no pedigree whatsoever.

Hope this helps.

Bartfarst
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by troikafloyd on Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:13 pm

up! Thanks Bartfarst for that very interesting read!

They are putting on a Bosch Refurb but after reading your post, maybe not a good idea!
I'll take a gamble and have it fitted as I have booked a week away next week ( not good timing) and it's my only vehicle but will look into what you say regarding the fuel pump and anything else that could be causing a potential problem.

I shall also look at some of your previous posts as well with interest and the info regarding the Peugeot and Citroen Servicebox, will def have a look into that. 

Once again Bartfarst Thank you!!

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:25 pm

Troikafloyd,

Just wondering whether you have solved your alternator problems?

Incidentally, when you suggest that, based upon my post, a "Bosch refurb" may not be a good idea, my assumption is that you are fitting a genuine Bosch alternator which has been refurbished by the manufacturer. In this case, I'd have a good level of confidence that the slip rings and bearings etc. had all be changed correctly so that should be a solid unit. I fitted a Bosch refurbished alternator to my 2001 Passat a few years ago and it has been absolutely spot-on.

Cheers, Stuart aka Bartfarst
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by troikafloyd on Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:02 pm

Bartfarst wrote:Troikafloyd,

Just wondering whether you have solved your alternator problems?

Incidentally, when you suggest that, based upon my post, a "Bosch refurb" may not be a good idea, my assumption is that you are fitting a genuine Bosch alternator which has been refurbished by the manufacturer. In this case, I'd have a good level of confidence that the slip rings and bearings etc. had all be changed correctly so that should be a solid unit. I fitted a Bosch refurbished alternator to my 2001 Passat a few years ago and it has been absolutely spot-on.

Cheers, Stuart aka Bartfarst
Hi Stuart aka Bartfarst smile!

up!  Apologies, have been away for a few days and yes thanks, alternator problem solved..........for now......I say for now because of the problems in the past but fingers and everything else crossed......!
Yes, it was a genuine Bosch refurb so hopefully it will give a few years.

On another note and as you obviously know what you are doing under the bonnet!..................

Since I have had the van I have never used the leisure battery as always used EHU on sites.
I'm thinking of removing the leisure battery ( it's starting to corrode on the earth terminal, also carrying less weight etc) and wondered whether there would be any potential problems in doing so?

As always Thank You for your knowledgable replies!

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:27 pm

Glad to hear that your alternator is sorted!

Regarding your proposed removal of the leisure battery, I suppose it is feasible, providing you insulate the disconnected battery terminals such that they can never short or contact vehicle ground. I assume that your 12V pump and everything else similarly powered would then be wholly reliant upon you having the Zig unit charger running whenever operation was required?

Just checking that you've fully considered all the consequences. For example whenever you stop en route you will not be able to use the pump, (loo?) gas igniter for hob, and so on, all of which renders your vehicle particularly inflexible and vulnerable to either failure to find an EHU or failure of your Zig unit.

Personally I'd clean off the corrosion, check the leisure battery and stick it back in again as being without it incurs too much risk. However it's entirely up to you and the way in which you use the vehicle of course!

Bartfarst
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by -mojo- on Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:08 pm

If you're considering removing the leisure battery, I would strongly recommend that you locate the manufacturer's documentation for the ZIG power system and check what it says.

I've just checked an example I have here for another make/model (the user instructions for a Sargent PSU dating from around 2003) and it suggests that the 12V system should never be operated without a leisure battery fitted.

You ~may~ find that the (nominally) 12V power operates too far outside an acceptable voltage range without the battery in place.
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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by Bartfarst on Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:21 pm

-mojo- wrote:You ~may~ find that the (nominally) 12V power operates too far outside an acceptable voltage range without the battery in place.

I think a Zig X-70 puts out a steady regulated 13.8V whatever the load so, if that's what's fitted, I think it should be OK.

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Re: Oh no, not again!!

Post by troikafloyd on Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:54 pm

Bartfarst wrote:
-mojo- wrote:You ~may~ find that the (nominally) 12V power operates too far outside an acceptable voltage range without the battery in place.

I think a Zig X-70 puts out a steady regulated 13.8V whatever the load so, if that's what's fitted, I think it should be OK.

Bartfarst
Thanks Bartfarst / mojo for your input on this up!

I have decided to do what Bartfarst suggests and clean up/check the leisure battery and leave it in situ etc.
I should have given it more thought! think_smiley_46

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